MVP Sustainability Map

Sri Lanka


Sustainability Grade




Sustainable Population

53.6 %

Contraception Use


Species Threatened

0.53 %

Population Growth

$ 3,681

GDP Per Capita

Country Comments

Slightly smaller than Ireland, but with 4.5 times as many people, Sri Lanka’s population level far exceeds its carrying capacity.

Sri Lanka is an incredibly diverse island, home to rainforests and parched plains, misty mountains and palm-fringed coasts, coral reefs and wetlands. Conservation International has identified Sri Lanka as one of the planet’s 25 biodiversity hotspots, which means the island is characterised by a very high level of species unique to the area. As an example there are 116 amphibian species, 90% of them found nowhere else on Earth.

Sri Lanka's biggest environmental threat is arguably deforestation and overdevelopment leading to serious habitat and species loss. At the beginning of the 20th century about 70% of the island was covered by natural forest. By 2005 this had shrunk to about 20%. Worse, in recent years Sri Lanka has had one of the highest recorded rates of primary-forest destruction in the world. (1)

Fortunately population growth is slowing and may eventually reverse by the end of the decade based on current trends. Both a fertility transition from government efforts to provide reproductive healthcare, and significant out-migration over the past decades driven by low per capita income, unemployment and/or underemployment, high inflation, indebtedness and lack of access to resources are responsible for this trend. (2)